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Thread: How do I know if I'm infected??

  1. #1

    Question How do I know if I'm infected??

    Does anyone know how long after an open hernia repair surgery with mesh that I should still be having intense burning/stinging pain from the surgical site all the way around my side to my back? I am also running a low grade temp of 99.0-99.5. My normal temp is 97.0-97.6. The site itself looks ok except for a small area above the actual site which seems to me to be a bit swollen and a little harder then the rest of my abdomen. The home nurse that came yesterday was concerned and sent me back to the surgeon but when he "looked" at it, he said it was fine. The home nurse called me after seeing what happened at the appointment and still seems concerned. I was just wondering if she is over-reacting or if the doctor is being ignorant? I DO NOT want anything to get infected and set me back. Any input would be great!! Thanks so much!!

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  2. #2
    Becks, why did you put "looked" in quote marks? I suspect it's probably because it's what doctors tend all too often to do when their results are questioned -- the surgeon thinks you couldn't possibly know your body better than he does but finally grudgingly gave it a cursory glance just to pacify you.

    But I'd hate to jump to incorrect conclusions.

    You've struggled with such severe central pain that I'm not sure that the pain you're feeling is a sign of infection as much as it is the surgery sending your CP into overdrive.

    However, the fever and the difference in the look and feel of that one area are.

    Personally, I trust the instincts of the nurses who see me on a regular basis far more than I trust any doctor. When will the nurse come see you again?
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  3. #3
    Hi HP, I put looked in quotes because that is all he did. He looked at the site. He didn't feel it or anything. I was thinking the same thing that the pain could be because of the CP and not necessarily a sign of infection but when I took my temp and it was a low grade temp and add that together with the hardness of that area I started thinking that it could be an option also. Not even that the site itself is infected but maybe I have an abscess or something. The nurse is coming back tomorrow so that makes me feel a bit better.

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  4. #4
    You're absolutely right -- it could be that it's an infection triggering the ongoing pain and not the surgery itself.

    I'm glad to hear the nurse is coming back tomorrow. If you're still running that fever and your nurse still has concerns, get a second [or third or fourth] opinion by a doctor who does a real examination of the suspect area and checks to see if/how much your white blood cell count is elevated.

    You know your body better than anyone else, Becks. If you and your nurse are both suspicious there's an infection, trust those instincts! There's too much at risk to not get this properly checked out.
    It is easier to find men who will volunteer to die, than to find those who are willing to endure pain with patience.

    ~Julius Caesar


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by thehipcrip View Post
    You're absolutely right -- it could be that it's an infection triggering the ongoing pain and not the surgery itself.

    I'm glad to hear the nurse is coming back tomorrow. If you're still running that fever and your nurse still has concerns, get a second [or third or fourth] opinion by a doctor who does a real examination of the suspect area and checks to see if/how much your white blood cell count is elevated.

    You know your body better than anyone else, Becks. If you and your nurse are both suspicious there's an infection, trust those instincts! There's too much at risk to not get this properly checked out.

    I completely agree!!!

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

  6. #6
    If the surgeon continues to be non-responsive, I would encourage you to go see your primary care physician about this. You should at least have some blood work done to see if you have an elevated CRP (an indicator of infection) and white blood count (WBC with differential).

    Where did you have the surgery? At his office or in a hospital or surgi-center?? You can also report to them both his non-responsiveness and an infection as this would require a follow-up by them from their risk management team, and possibly require reporting to CMS, the state Health Department, and to the Joint Commission.

    (KLD)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    If the surgeon continues to be non-responsive, I would encourage you to go see your primary care physician about this. You should at least have some blood work done to see if you have an elevated CRP (an indicator of infection) and white blood count (WBC with differential).

    Where did you have the surgery? At his office or in a hospital or surgi-center?? You can also report to them both his non-responsiveness and an infection as this would require a follow-up by them from their risk management team, and possibly require reporting to CMS, the state Health Department, and to the Joint Commission.

    (KLD)
    I will bring that up to the home health nurse about going to the primary doc. Maybe they will order the blood work. I was thinking that the surgeon would at least want to order that just to make sure but apparently he didn't.
    I had the surgery done in a hospital. I stayed inpatient for about 4 days after. I will see what happens and keep the possible need to report in mind if it comes down to that.
    Thanks so much KLD!

    Becky
    T8-9 according to latest scoring.......
    since 1/3/04

    I am the best at being me. No matter how that happens to be!!

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